Pittsburgh updating rules for collection of garbage, recyclables
Pittsburgh residents could have some new rules to follow for recycling and garbage collections under legislation proposed Tuesday by City Council.
Councilwoman Erika Strassburger of Squirrel Hill, who sponsored the legislation, said current regulations set in 2005 were outdated and officials wanted to update and include them in the city’s code of ordinances.
Property owners can be cited for failure to abide by them. She reminded residents that recycling in the city is mandatory.
“The law was outdated and there were some parts that just hadn’t kept pace with current practices of Environmental Services so we wanted to codify the practices that were already being implemented by Environmental Services for waste and recycling,” Strassburger said. “Ultimately, we want to encourage more recycling and cut down on the amount of waste going into landfills.”
Under the bill, the city would have authority to cite renters along with property owners for repeated rule violations. It also requires landlords with less than six rental units at a single property to provide tenants with garbage and recycling containers.
“I think that’s one of the biggest things that people will notice,” Strassburger said.
The bill also:
- Requires residents to store garbage and recyclables in durable watertight containers with a lid. Garbage bags and cans can be left at curbside on the day before a collection, but no earlier than 6 p.m. and no later than 6 a.m. on a collection day. Empty containers must be removed from curbside by 7 p.m. on collection day.
- Prohibits storage of garbage in blue bags issued for recycled materials.
- Requires landlords with more than 5 units to hire their own trash and recycling hauler.
Environmental Services foremen have authority to issue citations if necessary. Fines can range from $50 to $100 for a first citation and up to $500 for repeat violations.
Strassburger said foremen mainly rely on complaints from neighbors. They won’t likely be driving around neighborhoods checking to make sure garbage cans are out and removed at the correct times and will be lenient for first-time offenders, she said.
“There’s a process,” she said. “The first time it’s a warning. The second time, they’ll cite.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-564-3080, [email protected] or via Twitter .